Quitman pair earns prestigious Eagle badge


The steps necessary to achieve the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout rank take years to fulfill and include a final worthwhile community service project, as well as a lengthy review process. That’s why only four percent of Scouts attain this top goal.  

In an Eagle Scout Court of Honor held Nov. 2, two Scouts from Quitman Boy Scout Troop 36 secured their place among the best of the best by attaining this lofty merit. These newly-minted Eagle Scouts are 17-year old Austin Brown of Mineola and 17-year old Hunter Huggins of Quitman.

Before the final required service project, each Eagle Scout was required to earn 21 merit badges. Brown and Huggins exceeded what was required, which added three palms to their final rank (a palm is earned for every five merit badges earned beyond the required 21).

As part of his Eagle Service Project, Brown designed, built, decorated and installed a metal deposit box for American flags that have been taken out of service. The BSA is one of the few organizations that have an official code for proper flag retirement, and they hold reverent and dignified ceremonies to properly burn retired U.S. flags per the U.S. Flag Code.

The completed box is installed on 406 E. Lane Street in Quitman, and the public is invited to deposit their worn flags, which will be properly disposed of by the Scouts. In a separate and equally ambitious project, Huggins designed, built and decorated a brick fire pit with a metal cover. This fire pit was an independent project but dovetails nicely with the retirement box, as it will be used in the official flag retirement ceremonies.   

Each Scout merit badge requires detailed activity and achievements. But the final Eagle Project is broader in scope, calling on the Scout to use many skills to include budgeting, planning and leadership, as well as community outreach.

Brown has been a Scout since 2009. He is the son of Jill and Tommy Brown of Mineola. He is a senior at Van High School where he is a drum major of the Mighty Vandal Band, member of the NHS and a team six Wood Chuck. After high school he plans to attend Texas A&M, where he will study civil engineering.  

Huggins has been a Scout since 2008, and he is a senior at Quitman High School where he plays football and runs track. His is the son of Joy and the late Tim Huggins of Quitman. After high school, Huggins plans to attend UTI in Dallas.

Since its formation in 1988, Boy Scout Troop 36, has produced 38 Eagle Scouts.